It’s Scott Brooks’ secret weapon of mass offensive destruction.
Brooks actually resists using the word “small” when he’s talking about it, because it’s actually not really small at all. It’s really just about transplanting positions. When the Thunder go “small,” it means Kevin Durant, typically a small forward, moves to power forward and plays alongside a single traditional big instead of two. But Durant is at least 6-10 (more like 6-11.5 with shoes) while OKC’s “bigs” are actually shorter than he is. It’s that old positionality thing.
Whatever you want to call it, the Thunder are crazy efficient and effective when going small. Per NBA Stats, the Thunder’s three most efficient offensive lineups have Durant at power forward, with either Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison or Serge Ibaka alongside as the 5. In about 42 minutes of floortime, the lineup of Westbrook, Martin, Thabo, Durant and Collison average 135.3 points per 100 possessions. That’s insane. Keep Reading…